Pie Makers, Unite!

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iStockphoto/Gabriel Dome
Apple pie, the quintessential American dessert.

Orlando, Florida – Pie making is a skill that’s been passed down from generation to generation, but do today’s teenagers have the knack? 

Aspiring bakers can find out by entering the Amercian Pie Council/Crisco® 2010 National Pie Championships®, to be held April 23-25 in Celebration, Florida. This prestigious national competition draws commercial, professional, amateur and junior chefs from all over the United States and Canada, so young pie makers will have plenty of inspiration during the weekend. Last year, more than 170 judges graded more than 800 pies entered in the bake off. Anyone who will be between the ages 14 to 17 by April 24 can apply for the Junior Chef competition, and contestants are chosen on a first-come, first-served basis. 

“High school students don’t get a lot of chances to compete in a bake off of this caliber, and we’re really excited to see the originality and creativity they bring to the competition. The Junior Chefs are our future. It’s up to them to preserve and pass along this all-American pastime,” says Crisco’s Brenda Alten.

All pies are baked and judged on site at the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate. Junior Chefs have a choice of four categories: Apple, Cream, Fruit/Berry and Open. The grand prize Junior Chef winner will bake her or his way to a $2,000 college scholarship from Crisco® and a large Crisco® gift basket. First-place winners in each of the four categories will receive a $100 gift certificate to Emile Henry USA, a $100 gift certificate to Cuisipro USA, a source for popular professional chef tools, as well as a Crisco® gift basket. And every junior pie maker in the competition will go home with an Emile Henry ceramic pie dish, valued at $45 each. Emile Henry USA, makers of the finest quality ceramic bake ware and gourmet cooking products, has returned for 2010 as the “Official Pie Dish” of the National Pie Championships. Entry forms are available at the website, and junior entries are free.

During the weekend, juniors and their families can also experience the APC Great American Pie Festival, sponsored by Crisco 24® and presented by the American Pie Council® (APC), an organization dedicated to preserving America’s pie heritage. This free-admission family-friendly event attracted a record 25,000 pie lovers and dessert devotees in 2009. Presented in Lakeside Park speckled with shade trees, winding sidewalks, and picnic pavilions, the setting for the all-American event is picture perfect and filled with pie-making demos, pie eating contests, PieCasso Art, music, entertainment, vendors and food and beverage booths.

The event includes an incredibly popular Never-Ending Pie Buffet, pie-eating contests, baking demonstrations, childrens’ activities, food and beverage vendors, more than 20 craft vendors and live entertainment. The festival will be held at Lakeside Park at 631 Sycamore St. in downtown Celebration. Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, April 24; and noon to 5 p.m., Sunday, April 25. Admission to the festival is free, with tickets for the Never-Ending Pie Buffet priced at $10 adults, $5 ages 65 and up, and $5 ages 6-12.

For more information, including room rates, visit the websites for Front Porch Celebration Community or the American Pie Council.

Crisco® is a registered trademark of The J. M. Smucker Co. For more information, visit the website.

The American Pie Council® is the only organization committed to maintaining America’s pie heritage, passing on the tradition of pie-making and promoting America’s love affair with pie. The APC offers personal, professional and commercial memberships. For more information, please visit the council’s website.